For many students, their freshman year of college is the first time they will have spent the holidays away from home. Although college can be an exciting experience, some students may find the festive season to be a little lonely. However, decorating their dorm room may help bring some holiday cheer to their academic experience.
If you're planning on sprucing up your dorm room, the first thing you should do is talk it over with your roommates – unless you're lucky enough to have your own dorm, of course. The holiday season can mean something different to everyone, and although flashing Christmas lights may be your idea of ideal holiday decor, your roommates may not agree. Make sure you talk over any plans before you start hanging lights or lugging Christmas trees down the halls.
After discussing your plans with your roommates, you should check the building regulations of your dorm to make sure items such as extension cords and live plants are permissible. Although many people like to decorate at this time of year, safety in shared accommodations, especially those on college property, should be your primary concern. You can ask the resident assistant for guidance if you're not sure about a specific feature or rule.
If you have a DVD player and a television in your room, you could invest in a log fire DVD. These inexpensive discs feature a loop of logs burning in an open fire, and simple touches like this can really add to the festive atmosphere in your room – especially if you're studying at a college or university in an area that gets a lot of snow. Similarly, some outdoor decorations such as sparkle reindeer, can be a wonderful centerpiece for your room. Such decorations can also be a great conversation starter if you're entertaining company.
Remember, when it comes to decorating, less is more. Although 2,000 Christmas lights, a real Douglas fir tree and an assortment of lawn ornaments may seem like a great idea in a 12' by 16' dorm room, too much stuff can make it look cluttered and tacky. Subtle accents and sparse decorations can add a touch of class to your room – unless tacky and cluttered is the theme that you and your roommates decided on, of course. So this holiday season, you may want to add tinsel and a wreath to your college checklist.